So day two of our Empire State Trail trip started at the Bunkhaus Hostel where we did actually sleep in bunks, and it was in a great location, about half a mile from the canal bike path and a block from Main Street. We got up and made coffee and carried our bikes into the yard and loaded them with gear, and it was a lovely morning to watch the activity at the Medina farmer’s market at the adjacent parking lot while we got ready to leave.
Dan got on his bike and realized that the front tire was flat and so he unloaded his bike and found the cause (a small piece of wire about the size of a thistle) and prepared to change the tube, and Cindy and I went over to browse the stands at the market for a few minutes. There was rhubarb pie that was very tempting even at 8:45 am and we had a nice chat with a woman setting up a wine tasting that included a Frontenac varietal (developed in Minnesota), and we went back to our bikes and headed off to the canal past stone churches and houses with big porches on quiet streets.
At the intersection of a county highway we all stopped, and Dan started up again and so did I, then he said “car!” and I stopped quickly and didn’t realize my shoe was still clipped into the pedal and promptly fell over onto the pavement while trying to find my footing. Let’s just say there was some blood … and a woman drove past asking if we needed a bandage, and another woman came out of her house asking for the same, and some supplies from our first aid kit helped to ensure the gash in my shin and skinned knee were ready for travel.
Our riding along the canal was glorious and took us through many small towns, and we got to see lots of boats and barges and cyclists and geese and goslings plus strawberry festivals and a parade with a marching band.
After a lunch stop in Rochester, we set off and soon Cindy heard a “thunk” which turned out to be a bolt breaking off of her rack. Some creative problem solving got things back in place and we discovered there was a bike shop a few miles away in Pittsfield, and got there before closing and the crew there was amazing. They looked at the bike right away and made some adjustments and we bought some new tubes and headed off again.
Our stop for the night was in Palmyra, at the Five Pillars Carriage Stop bed and breakfast. It was built in 1864, and our hosts Richard and Daniela were lovely. We got cleaned up and walked into town for dinner, past many civil war era homes and churches and had gigantic delicious hamburgers and walked back under the bright June moon.
After breakfast, we made our way back to the trail and found that it was a much denser segment, very wooded and green and beautiful. We were trying to get to our next overnight town – Waterloo – before some big storms that were heading for the region, and were relieved to make it to our next B&B before the rain. We had time for naps and pizza. I was a bit sore all day so appreciated a light day of riding (we only did 30 miles) and am looking for a good night’s sleep in this grand old house.